Alessia Landi is fantastic. Full stop.
She is also an Italian girl from Florence (that is where we met the first time last weekend), but her current home is in Gent, Belgium. Alessia is in fact a scientist, but deeply in love with Fashion and Art. I was running through Florence with her for a whole day, in 35 degrees, to put together a street style range for Elle UK. All very spontaneous and so is this interview - unedited of course…
What the hell got you into fashion?
Alessia Landi: My DNA. I bought my first Vogue when I was 8 years old and before that I was always reading (well, watching) my mom’s fashion magazines and harshly commenting the outfits of the girls in cartoons and animes (I’m serious), so it must have been something kinda instinctive. I’ve always been a very visual person.
What was your first passion and how does it manifest itself today?
Alessia Landi: Drawing. My memories starts with me drawing. I think I started at around 3 years old or something like that, it has always been my biggest pleasure, my world.
I had quasi compulsive moments (my childhood) and a big hiatus (during adolescence) but now it’s kinda consistent and regular and I couldn’t live without it. When I was a kid I was always drawing only girls and clothes, and nobody understood very well why… Now I still do that, but I know that this weird only-girl-only-fashion drawing has a name and it’s called “Fashion illustration”.
What is the best advice you got so far?
Alessia Landi: To be true to what I love and to my style and never try to copy others. Its sounds boring but it’s so true… Fashion-wise, my mom also taught me to love fashion but never be slave to trends and what others do or like. It’s kind of a life-savior lesson if you like fashion I think, and it helps you to stick to what you like instead of following the mass. If you want to write/draw/photograph about fashion this is super-important to have your own peculiar voice.
What is your worst fashion secret?
Alessia Landi: Uhm… When I was 13 I wanted to look like Sporty Spice so I was always going around in Adidas suits and with my hair in a high pony tail. Please don’t tell it to anyone.
How does London inspires you?
Alessia Landi: It’s a crazy city. The first time I visited it I was 15 and felt so free there… Went back home and died my hair in fluoro red and started to dress “alternative” ahah
No but seriously, it’s a very spontaneous city, also in fashion of course. And modern but somehow attached to British roots and traditions, I like this contrast (like Tokyo, for example). I have the feeling that you can really express yourself there. And to me it’s THE city of melting pot and art. And Japanese food ahah! I love to go there as often as possible.
What do you have for breakfast?
Alessia Landi: ight now I’m on a diet (boooo) and I have a thin slice of whole grain bread, coffe, light plain yoghurt and blueberries EVERY SINGLE DAY. My ideal breakfast is typically italian though: fresh pastry and cappuccino.
You just started with street style, can you tell us where you get the guts to ask people to shoot them?
Alessia Landi: I don’t! In normal days and situations I don’t ask and end up with no pics. Which is a pity because I go to Amsterdam quite often and there is a great street style over there. At fashion week everyone knows more or less that there is a chance that they’ll be photographed and they usually like it, so I don’t mind asking. In Florence for Luisa Via Roma it was different, I had the adrenaline of the event (and when you say “Elle UK” everyone say yes ahaha) and you were with me as a back-up ;-)
If a fashion brand would make you really happy with a present, what could this be?
Alessia Landi: A bag!! I love accessories and bags have always been my favorites… Lately I’m really into the Bao Bao bag from Issey Miyake, it was love at first sight!